28 Mar 2019

VIDEO PREMIERE: Hollie Smith and Teeks ‘Whakaaria Mai’

From RNZ Music, 10:00 am on 28 March 2019

This superb performance by Hollie Smith and Teeks is the first single from Offering, an album that brings together some of NZ’s top musicians to raise money for the Salvation Army.

Hollie Smith and Teeks have joined forces with the Auckland Gospel Choir, to re-imagine one of New Zealand’s most beloved hymns ‘Whakaaria Mai (How Great Thou Art)'.

The track is the first single from Offering, a collection of 12 gospel hymns performed by some of New Zealand’s top musicians including Dave Dobbyn, Tami Neilson and Don McGlashan, Stan Walker and Kimbra.

The album is out April 26th and all proceeds will go to the Salvation Army to assist those in need.

In addition to the re-imagined hymns, 12 of New Zealand’s finest painters have created an original artwork inspired by each one of the tracks. Artists include Dick Frizzell, Lisa Reihana and Max Gimblett, among others.

All the musicians and artists involved in the Offering project have given their time and talents at no charge, including foregoing any future royalties.

The artwork for ‘Whakaaria Mai’ was created by Auckland artist Reuben Paterson (Ngati Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi), known for his creations in glitter and diamond dust.

Hollie with the artwork by Reuben Paterson

Hollie with the artwork by Reuben Paterson Photo: Supplied

Teeks (Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui) says supporting the Salvation Army was the driving force behind his involvement in the project: “I kind of like thinking about how many people we can help by doing this.”

He says ‘Whakaaria Mai’ is a universal hymn: “Whether it’s at a hui or a tangi or any special occasion, ‘Whakaaria Mai’ is a song that connects generations. I grew up with the song and we sung it at my Grandad’s tangi.

“Every time ‘Whakaaria Mai’ is sung it’s always quite a heavy kaupapa or occasion and so it’s always going to be in your heart.”

Hollie hopes people feel happy and uplifted when they hear the new version of the song: “I just want them to get that cool feeling when you feel all bright inside your bones.”

Offering will be released on April 26th via CD and digital with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army.

The 12 artworks will be included in the CD liner notes, as well as being exhibited in Auckland during May. The original artworks will be available for sale, as well as limited edition prints, with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army.

The Offering project is spearheaded by music and entertainment entrepreneur Murray Thom and his company Thom Productions, who created The Great New Zealand Songbook and The Great New Zealand Cookbook.

Offering full tracklist:

1. ‘Abide With Me’ (1847)

Le Art

Artwork by Darryn George


2. ‘Amazing Grace’ (1779)  

Dave Dobbyn

Artwork by Dick Frizzell


3. ‘Ma Te Marie’ (Unknown, Early 20th Century)

Stan Walker

Artwork by Lisa Reihana


4. ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ (1905)

Ginny Blackmore

Artwork by Michael Hight


5. ‘Whakaaria Mai (How Great Thou Art)’ (1885)

Hollie Smith & Teeks

Artwork by Reuben Paterson


6. ‘Be Thou My Vision’ (Music 1912, Words 600 A.D.)

Nathan Haines & Jonathan Crayford

Artwork by Ray Ching


7. ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ (Music 1844, Words 1932) 


Artwork by Seraphine Pick


8. ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ (1923)

Ruby Frost

Artwork by Max Gimblett


9. ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ (1873) 

Vince Harder & Maisey Rika

Artwork by John Walsh


10. ‘Lo Ta Nu’u’ (Unknown, Early 20th Century) 

Sol3 Mio

Artwork by Lonnie Hutchinson


11. ‘Be Still My Soul’ (Music 1899, Words 1752) 

Tami Neilson & Don Mcglashan

Artwork by Karl Maughan


12. ‘Doxology’ (1551)

Rhombus String Quartet

Artwork by Justin Boroughs